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By Al Stilley Senior
Lutheran’s girls volleyball team had its backs to the wall Saturday night against nemesis Hauser in the Morristown regional championship match. At stake for the Saints was their third trip to the Class A Final Four. The Saints dominated the first set 25-11 but dropped the second and third sets to the resurgent Jets.
“We kept encouraging each other,” Lutheran senior Rylee Morris said. “I think we finally became more determined; we needed to play like every point would be our last.”
The Saints recovered, narrowly won the fourth set 25-22 and then dominated the final set 15-5. Lutheran meets Barr-Reeve in the Jasper semistate at 4 p.m., while Covington tests Pioneer at Frankfort with the winners going to the 1A state championship Nov. 3, at Ball State University. Earlier Saturday, the Saints eliminated University 25-18, 25-15, 25-20.
“We played well early against Hauser, but then they stepped it up,” Saints coach Kathy Anderson said. “It was a good battle. Our serves got us going early. We improved our passing game and that got our outside and middle hitters going late, and that made a big difference.”
Saints hitters Morris, Dara Milivojak and Olivia Terry led up front while setter Chloe Andre, Molly Phipps and Jaelah Chenalt added to the surge. Elsewhere, Roncalli reached the title match of the Greenfield regional but fell to Avon in four close sets, and Center Grove dropped the Bloomington South regional opener to No. 2 Providence. Roncalli swept rival Cathedral in the first round.
The Rebels then dropped the first two sets against the Orioles in the finale but recovered to win the third set 25-16. Roncalli led the fourth set 23-15 before Avon rallied. Elizabeth Eads had 10 kills for the Rebels, who finished 30-7 and were Circle City and Marion County champions.
At Bloomington, Center Grove won the third set. Madison Hammill had 25 assists for the Trojans with sophomore Grace Boggess adding 11 kills and Anna Line seven. Under first-year coach Chris Due, the Trojans finished 27-7.